babies and dog

Posted by lgold
Oct 26, 2007

I have a 2 1/2 year old retriever mix. I also have triplet girls who are 10 months old. Recently the four don't mix. The girls are getting more mobile and the dog is getting more aggressive. She tries to avoid the babies all together, but if one of the babies crawls towards her or tries to touch her, she nips at them. I am VERY concerned for my babies and want to know if I can do something to help. The dog is very obedient to myself and husband, and she used to be docile towards children, but now she growls at all kids. I love my dog and she came first, but what should I do? I have tried to play with the girls and the dog at the same time, but she wants nothing to do with them. Help!
Posted by Annie
Oct 26, 2007
Hi there,
That sounds like a really scarey situation. It is really important that the dog has a safe place where the girls can NOT a section of house, or a sofa with a fence ( sent to the garden may be seen as a punishment, as she is too seperated ). Dogs need a lot of sleep and she shouldn´t have to be always watching for 'attacks'.The dog needs time out from being 'played 'with.
I know from my dog and baby that the crawling time was horrible. I found my baby was so rough with the dog and if I wasn´t watching, was quite prepared to push wooden blocks up her bum or pull her ears off. It sounds like your dog has had a few small unpleasant experiences or she is at least protecting herself.
I also needed to develop a language for the baby that was not the same as my dogs´language. When I told my son to leave the dog alone I couldn´t say NO! because my dog got all nervous that she was doing something wrong. Now I have a 'AH UH' for the baby and the baby knows to back off, whilst the dog can stay relaxed knowing that she can trust you to help her. She needs to know that you will help her, she doesn´t have to protect herself.
I found it took a long time, but it was the baby that needed discipline and now the two are quite happy together. Having my baby 'share' his biscuits with the dog sounds disgusting but my dog now thinks the baby is a Prince. And always, ALWAYS in my family, the baby eats before the dog is fed.

Is it possible that she can stay with a friend for a couple of months? I found after the 1 year mark it really settled down.....the babies are more interested in other things.
My dog also tried to give my baby a nip, I growled and sent her to the garden and didn´t speak or look at her for hours. She hated being alone from the pack and tried really hard after that, but I must always watch for the yawn and licking signs that say she has had enough and then call her to me or send her to her safe place ( allways done sweetly and maybe with a treat). She needs to learn that when the childrens behaviour is too much SHE must leave calmly. I wish you luck, you must be very tierd thinking of you, Annie